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Ten killed at huge ammunition store fire in Siberia

By The Siberian Times reporter
30 April 2014

Victims burned to death while fighting blaze after three massive explosions.

More than 1,000 people were evacuated from their homes close to the ammunition depot. Picture: youtube

Forest fires caused the inferno and initially it was thought that there were no victims in the horror near Bolshaya Tura close to Lake Baikal.

'At dawn, as engineers examined the grounds of the military base, a truck was found within the arsenal with 10 people who had died inside,' said defence ministry press chief Major General Igor Konashenkov.

The dead were an  army officer in charge of the depot, a drafted soldier, and eight civilian staff. The blaze was sparked by a forest fire that leapt over to the base in strong winds and set fire to a store of ammunition.

The depot's commander had tried to drive the staff to safety but the truck 'found itself at the epicentre of a sudden blast as a result of which it burnt up in a couple of minutes', he said.

The authorities in the Zabaikalye region said 23 people were treated for injuries after the blasts, nine of whom were hospitalised with burns and wounds.

More than 1,000 people were evacuated from their homes close to the ammunition depot.

A criminal case has been opened into the fire. 

Trains on the Trans-Siberian rail line were delayed by the inferno. 

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